This work presents an efficient strategy for visible light-driven imine production through a photocatalytic non-oxygen coupling reaction of diverse amines dramatically boosted by hydrogen evolution over noble metal-free Ni/CdS nanoparticles. Thanks to the integrating effect, close to 100% conversion of benzylamine (75.2 h-1 turnover frequency), 97% selectivity for imine with 21.4 mmol g-1 h-1 hydrogen evolution rate (λ > 420 nm) and 11.2% apparent quantum yield (450 nm, 10 mg catalyst) have been achieved at room temperature and ambient pressure. In comparison with the use of common sacrificial agents like TEOA or Na2S/Na2SO3, by the coupling of amines to imines, the H2 evolution rate increases by two orders of magnitude. The aforementioned integrating strategy has been extended to diverse amines, and an outstanding photocatalytic performance for H2 and imine production was obtained. Besides, the catalyst can be recycled several times without evident activity loss, suggesting a bright prospect for sustainable chemistry and solar utilization. This new discovery may open a new horizon for efficiently boosting solar hydrogen evolution and simultaneously clean producing diverse high value-added fine chemicals under mild conditions.
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